US 20090006103 A1
An audio decoder provides a combination of decoding components including components implementing base band decoding, spectral peak decoding, frequency extension decoding and channel extension decoding techniques. The audio decoder decodes a compressed bitstream structured by a bitstream syntax scheme to permit the various decoding components to extract the appropriate parameters for their respective decoding technique.
1. A method of decoding a compressed audio bitstream containing syntax elements conforming to a bitstream syntax, the bitstream syntax being partitioned in tiles and defining a base coding layer for coding a base band spectrum region of audio content and optional coding layers comprising a base plus coding layer, a base peak coding layer, a frequency extension coding layer and a channel extension coding layer, the method comprising:
reading the compressed audio bitstream in tiles;
decoding a base coding layer of the tiles;
parsing a first syntax element from a header portion of the tile signals presence of a superframe header;
upon reaching a tile in which the first syntax element signals a superframe header, decoding configuration parameters signaling which of the optional coding layers are present;
decoding any optional coding layers signaled to be present;
reconstructing an output audio signal from the decoded coding layers; and
playing the output audio signal.
2. A method of decoding a compressed audio bitstream containing syntax elements conforming to a bitstream syntax, the bitstream syntax defining a base coding layer and a base plus coding layer for coding a base band spectrum region of audio content, the method comprising:
reading the base plus coding layer of the compressed audio bitstream;
parsing a first syntax element from the base plus coding layer specifying a coding mode of the base plus coding layer from among at least an exclusive mode and an overlay mode;
in case of the exclusive mode, processing coded audio content of the base plus coding layer alone to reconstruct the base band spectrum region portion of an output audio signal;
in case of the overlay mode, processing coded audio content of the base coding layer and the base plus coding layer to reconstruct the base band spectrum region portion of an output audio signal, wherein the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer is combined to fill spectral holes in the coded audio content of the base coding layer; and
playing the output audio signal.
3. The method of
in case of the extend mode, processing coded audio content of the base coding layer and the base plus coding layer to reconstruct portions of an output audio signal comprising the base band spectrum region and an extended spectrum region above an upper bound of the base band spectrum region, wherein the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer is used to fill the extended spectrum region.
4. The method of
reading a plurality of syntax elements specifying parameters for processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer in the extend mode; and
processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer using the parameters.
5. The method of
reading a plurality of syntax elements specifying parameters for processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer in the exclusive mode; and
processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer using the parameters.
6. The method of
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8. The method of
reading a plurality of syntax elements specifying parameters for processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer in the overlay mode; and
processing the coded audio content of the base plus coding layer using the parameters.
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11. A method of decoding a compressed audio bitstream containing syntax elements conforming to a bitstream syntax, the bitstream syntax defining a base peak coding layer for coding a portion of audio content using a sparse spectral peak coding, the method comprising:
reading the base peak coding layer of the compressed audio bitstream;
parsing a plurality of syntax elements from the base peak coding layer specifying parameters used in the sparse spectral peak coding;
processing coded audio content of the base peak coding layer to reconstruct the portion of audio content in an output audio signal;
playing the output audio signal.
12. The method of
a coded peak type from among at least a choice of no peak data, intra-frame coded peak, and inter-frame coded peak;
in the case of an intra-frame coded peak, a zero run length and subsequent two coefficient levels; and
in the case of an inter-frame coded peak, a shift from a predicted position of the peak and two coefficient levels.
13. A method of decoding a compressed audio bitstream containing syntax elements conforming to a bitstream syntax, the bitstream syntax defining a base coding layer and a frequency extension coding layer for coding a portion of audio content using a frequency extension coding, the method comprising:
reading the base coding layer and frequency extension coding layer of the compressed audio bitstream;
parsing a plurality of syntax elements from the frequency extension coding layer specifying parameters used in the frequency extension coding, wherein the parameters comprise parameters specifying frequency extension coding using a different transform window size than a base coding layer;
processing coded audio content of the frequency extension coding layer to reconstruct the portion of audio content in an output audio signal;
playing the output audio signal.
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18. A method of decoding a compressed audio bitstream containing syntax elements conforming to a bitstream syntax, the bitstream syntax defining a base coding layer and a channel extension coding layer for coding a portion of audio content using a channel extension coding, the method comprising:
reading the base coding layer and channel extension coding layer of the compressed audio bitstream;
parsing a plurality of syntax elements from the channel extension coding layer specifying parameters used in the channel extension coding;
processing coded audio content of the channel extension coding layer to reconstruct the portion of audio content in an output audio signal;
playing the output audio signal.
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Perceptual Transform Coding
The coding of audio utilizes coding techniques that exploit various perceptual models of human hearing. For example, many weaker tones near strong ones are masked so they do not need to be coded. In traditional perceptual audio coding, this is exploited as adaptive quantization of different frequency data. Perceptually important frequency data are allocated more bits and thus finer quantization and vice versa.
For example, transform coding is conventionally known as an efficient scheme for the compression of audio signals. In transform coding, a block of the input audio samples is transformed (e.g., via the Modified Discrete Cosine Transform or MDCT, which is the most widely used), processed, and quantized. The quantization of the transformed coefficients is performed based on the perceptual importance (e.g. masking effects and frequency sensitivity of human hearing), such as via a scalar quantizer.
When a scalar quantizer is used, the importance is mapped to relative weighting, and the quantizer resolution (step size) for each coefficient is derived from its weight and the global resolution. The global resolution can be determined from target quality, bit rate, etc. For a given step size, each coefficient is quantized into a level which is zero or non-zero integer value.
At lower bitrates, there are typically a lot more zero level coefficients than non-zero level coefficients. They can be coded with great efficiency using run-length coding. In run-length coding, all zero-level coefficients typically are represented by a value pair consisting of a zero run (i.e., length of a run of consecutive zero-level coefficients), and level of the non-zero coefficient following the zero run. The resulting sequence is R0,L0,R1,L1 . . . , where R is zero run and L is non-zero level.
By exploiting the redundancies between R and L, it is possible to further improve the coding performance. Run-level Huffman coding is a reasonable approach to achieve it, in which R and L are combined into a 2-D array (R,L) and Huffman-coded.
When transform coding at low bit rates, a large number of the transform coefficients tend to be quantized to zero to achieve a high compression ratio. This could result in there being large missing portions of the spectral data in the compressed bitstream. After decoding and reconstruction of the audio, these missing spectral portions can produce an unnatural and annoying distortion in the audio. Moreover, the distortion in the audio worsens as the missing portions of spectral data become larger. Further, a lack of high frequencies due to quantization makes the decoded audio sound muffled and unpleasant.
Wide-Sense Perceptual Similarity
Perceptual coding also can be taken to a broader sense. For example, some parts of the spectrum can be coded with appropriately shaped noise. When taking this approach, the coded signal may not aim to render an exact or near exact version of the original. Rather the goal is to make it sound similar and pleasant when compared with the original. For example, a wide-sense perceptual similarity technique may code a portion of the spectrum as a scaled version of a code-vector, where the code vector may be chosen from either a fixed predetermined codebook (e.g., a noise codebook), or a codebook taken from a baseband portion of the spectrum (e.g., a baseband codebook).
All these perceptual effects can be used to reduce the bit-rate needed for coding of audio signals. This is because some frequency components do not need to be accurately represented as present in the original signal, but can be either not coded or replaced with something that gives the same perceptual effect as in the original.
In low bit rate coding, a recent trend is to exploit this wide-sense perceptual similarity and use a vector quantization (e.g., as a gain and shape code-vector) to represent the high frequency components with very few bits, e.g., 3 kbps. This can alleviate the distortion and unpleasant muffled effect from missing high frequencies. The transform coefficients of the “spectral holes” also are encoded using the vector quantization scheme. It has been shown that this approach enhances the audio quality with a small increase of bit rate.
The following Detailed Description concerns various audio encoding/decoding techniques and tools that provide a bitstream syntax to support decoding using multiple different decoding processes or decoder components. Each component separately extracts the parameters from the bitstream that it uses to process the coded audio content.
In one implementation, the decoding processes include a process for spectral hole filling in a base band spectrum region, a process for vector quantization decoding of an extension spectrum region (called “frequency extension”), a process for reconstructing multiple channels based on a coded subset of channels (called “channel extension”), and a process for decoding a spectrum region containing sparse spectral peaks.
This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that is further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter. Additional features and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description of embodiments that proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Various techniques and tools for representing, coding, and decoding audio information are described. These techniques and tools facilitate the creation, distribution, and playback of high quality audio content, even at very low bitrates.
The various techniques and tools described herein may be used independently. Some of the techniques and tools may be used in combination (e.g., in different phases of a combined encoding and/or decoding process).
Various techniques are described below with reference to flowcharts of processing acts. The various processing acts shown in the flowcharts may be consolidated into fewer acts or separated into more acts. For the sake of simplicity, the relation of acts shown in a particular flowchart to acts described elsewhere is often not shown. In many cases, the acts in a flowchart can be reordered.
Much of the detailed description addresses representing, coding, and decoding audio information. Many of the techniques and tools described herein for representing, coding, and decoding audio information can also be applied to video information, still image information, or other media information sent in single or multiple channels.
I. Computing Environment
With reference to
A computing environment may have additional features. For example, the computing environment 100 includes storage 140, one or more input devices 150, one or more output devices 160, and one or more communication connections 170. An interconnection mechanism (not shown) such as a bus, controller, or network interconnects the components of the computing environment 100. Typically, operating system software (not shown) provides an operating environment for software executing in the computing environment 100 and coordinates activities of the components of the computing environment 100.
The storage 140 may be removable or non-removable, and includes magnetic disks, magnetic tapes or cassettes, CDs, DVDs, or any other medium which can be used to store information and which can be accessed within the computing environment 100. The storage 140 stores instructions for the software 180.
The input device(s) 150 may be a touch input device such as a keyboard, mouse, pen, touchscreen or trackball, a voice input device, a scanning device, or another device that provides input to the computing environment 100. For audio or video, the input device(s) 150 may be a microphone, sound card, video card, TV tuner card, or similar device that accepts audio or video input in analog or digital form, or a CD or DVD that reads audio or video samples into the computing environment. The output device(s) 160 may be a display, printer, speaker, CD/DVD-writer, network adapter, or another device that provides output from the computing environment 100.
The communication connection(s) 170 enable communication over a communication medium to one or more other computing entities. The communication medium conveys information such as computer-executable instructions, audio or video information, or other data in a data signal. A modulated data signal is a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media include wired or wireless techniques implemented with an electrical, optical, RF, infrared, acoustic, or other carrier.
Embodiments can be described in the general context of computer-readable media. Computer-readable media are any available media that can be accessed within a computing environment. By way of example, and not limitation, with the computing environment 100, computer-readable media include memory 120, storage 140, communication media, and combinations of any of the above.
Embodiments can be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as those included in program modules, being executed in a computing environment on a target real or virtual processor. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, libraries, objects, classes, components, data structures, etc. that perform particular tasks or implement particular data types. The functionality of the program modules may be combined or split between program modules as desired in various embodiments. Computer-executable instructions for program modules may be executed within a local or distributed computing environment.
For the sake of presentation, the detailed description uses terms like “determine,” “receive,” and “perform” to describe computer operations in a computing environment. These terms are high-level abstractions for operations performed by a computer, and should not be confused with acts performed by a human being. The actual computer operations corresponding to these terms vary depending on implementation.
II. Example Encoders and Decoders
Though the systems shown in
A. First Audio Encoder
The encoder 200 receives a time series of input audio samples 205 at some sampling depth and rate. The input audio samples 205 are for multi-channel audio (e.g., stereo) or mono audio. The encoder 200 compresses the audio samples 205 and multiplexes information produced by the various modules of the encoder 200 to output a bitstream 295 in a compression format such as a WMA format, a container format such as Advanced Streaming Format (“ASF”), or other compression or container format.
The frequency transformer 210 receives the audio samples 205 and converts them into data in the frequency (or spectral) domain. For example, the frequency transformer 210 splits the audio samples 205 of frames into sub-frame blocks, which can have variable size to allow variable temporal resolution. Blocks can overlap to reduce perceptible discontinuities between blocks that could otherwise be introduced by later quantization. The frequency transformer 210 applies to blocks a time-varying Modulated Lapped Transform (“MLT”), modulated DCT (“MDCT”), some other variety of MLT or DCT, or some other type of modulated or non-modulated, overlapped or non-overlapped frequency transform, or uses sub-band or wavelet coding. The frequency transformer 210 outputs blocks of spectral coefficient data and outputs side information such as block sizes to the multiplexer (“MUX”) 280.
For multi-channel audio data, the multi-channel transformer 220 can convert the multiple original, independently coded channels into jointly coded channels. Or, the multi-channel transformer 220 can pass the left and right channels through as independently coded channels. The multi-channel transformer 220 produces side information to the MUX 280 indicating the channel mode used. The encoder 200 can apply multi-channel rematrixing to a block of audio data after a multi-channel transform.
The perception modeler 230 models properties of the human auditory system to improve the perceived quality of the reconstructed audio signal for a given bitrate. The perception modeler 230 uses any of various auditory models and passes excitation pattern information or other information to the weighter 240. For example, an auditory model typically considers the range of human hearing and critical bands (e.g., Bark bands). Aside from range and critical bands, interactions between audio signals can dramatically affect perception. In addition, an auditory model can consider a variety of other factors relating to physical or neural aspects of human perception of sound.
The perception modeler 230 outputs information that the weighter 240 uses to shape noise in the audio data to reduce the audibility of the noise. For example, using any of various techniques, the weighter 240 generates weighting factors for quantization matrices (sometimes called masks) based upon the received information. The weighting factors for a quantization matrix include a weight for each of multiple quantization bands in the matrix, where the quantization bands are frequency ranges of frequency coefficients. Thus, the weighting factors indicate proportions at which noise/quantization error is spread across the quantization bands, thereby controlling spectral/temporal distribution of the noise/quantization error, with the goal of minimizing the audibility of the noise by putting more noise in bands where it is less audible, and vice versa.
The weighter 240 then applies the weighting factors to the data received from the multi-channel transformer 220.
The quantizer 250 quantizes the output of the weighter 240, producing quantized coefficient data to the entropy encoder 260 and side information including quantization step size to the MUX 280. In
The entropy encoder 260 losslessly compresses quantized coefficient data received from the quantizer 250, for example, performing run-level coding and vector variable length coding. The entropy encoder 260 can compute the number of bits spent encoding audio information and pass this information to the rate/quality controller 270.
The controller 270 works with the quantizer 250 to regulate the bitrate and/or quality of the output of the encoder 200. The controller 270 outputs the quantization step size to the quantizer 250 with the goal of satisfying bitrate and quality constraints.
In addition, the encoder 200 can apply noise substitution and/or band truncation to a block of audio data.
The MUX 280 multiplexes the side information received from the other modules of the audio encoder 200 along with the entropy encoded data received from the entropy encoder 260. The MUX 280 can include a virtual buffer that stores the bitstream 295 to be output by the encoder 200.
B. First Audio Decoder
The decoder 300 receives a bitstream 305 of compressed audio information including entropy encoded data as well as side information, from which the decoder 300 reconstructs audio samples 395.
The demultiplexer (“DEMUX”) 310 parses information in the bitstream 305 and sends information to the modules of the decoder 300. The DEMUX 310 includes one or more buffers to compensate for short-term variations in bitrate due to fluctuations in complexity of the audio, network jitter, and/or other factors.
The entropy decoder 320 losslessly decompresses entropy codes received from the DEMUX 310, producing quantized spectral coefficient data. The entropy decoder 320 typically applies the inverse of the entropy encoding techniques used in the encoder.
The inverse quantizer 330 receives a quantization step size from the DEMUX 310 and receives quantized spectral coefficient data from the entropy decoder 320. The inverse quantizer 330 applies the quantization step size to the quantized frequency coefficient data to partially reconstruct the frequency coefficient data, or otherwise performs inverse quantization.
From the DEMUX 310, the noise generator 340 receives information indicating which bands in a block of data are noise substituted as well as any parameters for the form of the noise. The noise generator 340 generates the patterns for the indicated bands, and passes the information to the inverse weighter 350.
The inverse weighter 350 receives the weighting factors from the DEMUX 310, patterns for any noise-substituted bands from the noise generator 340, and the partially reconstructed frequency coefficient data from the inverse quantizer 330. As necessary, the inverse weighter 350 decompresses weighting factors. The inverse weighter 350 applies the weighting factors to the partially reconstructed frequency coefficient data for bands that have not been noise substituted. The inverse weighter 350 then adds in the noise patterns received from the noise generator 340 for the noise-substituted bands.
The inverse multi-channel transformer 360 receives the reconstructed spectral coefficient data from the inverse weighter 350 and channel mode information from the DEMUX 310. If multi-channel audio is in independently coded channels, the inverse multi-channel transformer 360 passes the channels through. If multi-channel data is in jointly coded channels, the inverse multi-channel transformer 360 converts the data into independently coded channels.
The inverse frequency transformer 370 receives the spectral coefficient data output by the multi-channel transformer 360 as well as side information such as block sizes from the DEMUX 310. The inverse frequency transformer 370 applies the inverse of the frequency transform used in the encoder and outputs blocks of reconstructed audio samples 395.
C. Second Audio Encoder
With reference to
The encoder 400 selects between multiple encoding modes for the audio samples 405. In
For lossy coding of multi-channel audio data, the multi-channel pre-processor 410 optionally re-matrixes the time-domain audio samples 405. For example, the multi-channel pre-processor 410 selectively re-matrixes the audio samples 405 to drop one or more coded channels or increase inter-channel correlation in the encoder 400, yet allow reconstruction (in some form) in the decoder 500. The multi-channel pre-processor 410 may send side information such as instructions for multi-channel post-processing to the MUX 490.
The windowing module 420 partitions a frame of audio input samples 405 into sub-frame blocks (windows). The windows may have time-varying size and window shaping functions. When the encoder 400 uses lossy coding, variable-size windows allow variable temporal resolution. The windowing module 420 outputs blocks of partitioned data and outputs side information such as block sizes to the MUX 490.
The frequency transformer 430 receives audio samples and converts them into data in the frequency domain, applying a transform such as described above for the frequency transformer 210 of
The perception modeler 440 models properties of the human auditory system, processing audio data according to an auditory model, generally as described above with reference to the perception modeler 230 of
The weighter 442 generates weighting factors for quantization matrices based upon the information received from the perception modeler 440, generally as described above with reference to the weighter 240 of
For multi-channel audio data, the multi-channel transformer 450 may apply a multi-channel transform to take advantage of inter-channel correlation. For example, the multi-channel transformer 450 selectively and flexibly applies the multi-channel transform to some but not all of the channels and/or quantization bands in the tile. The multi-channel transformer 450 selectively uses pre-defined matrices or custom matrices, and applies efficient compression to the custom matrices. The multi-channel transformer 450 produces side information to the MUX 490 indicating, for example, the multi-channel transforms used and multi-channel transformed parts of tiles.
The quantizer 460 quantizes the output of the multi-channel transformer 450, producing quantized coefficient data to the entropy encoder 470 and side information including quantization step sizes to the MUX 490. In
The entropy encoder 470 losslessly compresses quantized coefficient data received from the quantizer 460, generally as described above with reference to the entropy encoder 260 of
The controller 480 works with the quantizer 460 to regulate the bitrate and/or quality of the output of the encoder 400. The controller 480 outputs the quantization factors to the quantizer 460 with the goal of satisfying quality and/or bitrate constraints.
The mixed/pure lossless encoder 472 and associated entropy encoder 474 compress audio data for the mixed/pure lossless coding mode. The encoder 400 uses the mixed/pure lossless coding mode for an entire sequence or switches between coding modes on a frame-by-frame, block-by-block, tile-by-tile, or other basis.
The MUX 490 multiplexes the side information received from the other modules of the audio encoder 400 along with the entropy encoded data received from the entropy encoders 470, 474. The MUX 490 includes one or more buffers for rate control or other purposes.
D. Second Audio Decoder
With reference to
The DEMUX 510 parses information in the bitstream 505 and sends information to the modules of the decoder 500. The DEMUX 510 includes one or more buffers to compensate for short-term variations in bitrate due to fluctuations in complexity of the audio, network jitter, and/or other factors.
The entropy decoder 520 losslessly decompresses entropy codes received from the DEMUX 510, typically applying the inverse of the entropy encoding techniques used in the encoder 400. When decoding data compressed in lossy coding mode, the entropy decoder 520 produces quantized spectral coefficient data.
The mixed/pure lossless decoder 522 and associated entropy decoder(s) 520 decompress losslessly encoded audio data for the mixed/pure lossless coding mode.
The tile configuration decoder 530 receives and, if necessary, decodes information indicating the patterns of tiles for frames from the DEMUX 590. The tile pattern information may be entropy encoded or otherwise parameterized. The tile configuration decoder 530 then passes tile pattern information to various other modules of the decoder 500.
The inverse multi-channel transformer 540 receives the quantized spectral coefficient data from the entropy decoder 520 as well as tile pattern information from the tile configuration decoder 530 and side information from the DEMUX 510 indicating, for example, the multi-channel transform used and transformed parts of tiles. Using this information, the inverse multi-channel transformer 540 decompresses the transform matrix as necessary, and selectively and flexibly applies one or more inverse multi-channel transforms to the audio data.
The inverse quantizer/weighter 550 receives information such as tile and channel quantization factors as well as quantization matrices from the DEMUX 510 and receives quantized spectral coefficient data from the inverse multi-channel transformer 540. The inverse quantizer/weighter 550 decompresses the received weighting factor information as necessary. The quantizer/weighter 550 then performs the inverse quantization and weighting.
The inverse frequency transformer 560 receives the spectral coefficient data output by the inverse quantizer/weighter 550 as well as side information from the DEMUX 510 and tile pattern information from the tile configuration decoder 530. The inverse frequency transformer 570 applies the inverse of the frequency transform used in the encoder and outputs blocks to the overlapper/adder 570.
In addition to receiving tile pattern information from the tile configuration decoder 530, the overlapper/adder 570 receives decoded information from the inverse frequency transformer 560 and/or mixed/pure lossless decoder 522. The overlapper/adder 570 overlaps and adds audio data as necessary and interleaves frames or other sequences of audio data encoded with different modes.
The multi-channel post-processor 580 optionally re-matrixes the time-domain audio samples output by the overlapper/adder 570. For bitstream-controlled post-processing, the post-processing transform matrices vary over time and are signaled or included in the bitstream 505.
III. Encoder/Decoder with Multiple Decoding Processes/Components
In the illustrated extension 700, an audio encoder 700 processes audio received at an audio input 705, and encodes a representation of the audio as an output bitstream 745. An audio decoder 750 receives and processes this output bitstream to provide a reconstructed version of the audio at an audio output 795. In the audio encoder 700, portions of the encoding process are divided among a baseband encoder 710, a spectral peak encoder 720, a frequency extension encoder 730 and a channel extension encoder 735. A multiplexor 740 organizes the encoding data produced by the baseband encoder, spectral peak encoder, frequency extension encoder and channel extension coder into the output bitstream 745.
On the encoding end, the baseband encoder 710 first encodes a baseband portion of the audio. This baseband portion is a preset or variable “base” portion of the audio spectrum, such as a baseband up to an upper bound frequency of 4 KHz. The baseband alternatively can extend to a lower or higher upper bound frequency. The baseband encoder 710 can be implemented as the above-described encoders 200, 400 (
The spectral peak encoder 720 encodes the transform coefficients above the upper bound of the baseband using an efficient spectral peak encoding. This spectral peak encoding uses a combination of intra-frame and inter-frame spectral peak encoding modes. The intra-frame spectral peak encoding mode encodes transform coefficients corresponding to a spectral peak as a value trio of a zero run, and the two transform coefficients following the zero run (e.g., (R0(L0,L1))). This value trio is further separately or jointly entropy coded. The inter-frame spectral peak encoding mode uses predictive encoding of a position of the spectral peak relative to its position in a preceding frame.
The frequency extension encoder 730 is another technique used in the encoder 700 to encode the higher frequency portion of the spectrum. This technique (herein called “frequency extension”) takes portions of the already coded spectrum or vectors from a fixed codebook, potentially applying a non-linear transform (such as, exponentiation or combination of two vectors) and scaling the frequency vector to represent a higher frequency portion of the audio input. The technique can be applied in the same transform domain as the baseband encoding, and can be alternatively or additionally applied in a transform domain with a different size (e.g., smaller) time window.
The channel extension encoder 740 implements techniques for encoding multi-channel audio. This “channel extension” technique takes a single channel of the audio and applies a bandwise scale factor in a transform domain having a smaller time window than that of the transform used by the baseband encoder. The channel extension encoder derives the scale factors from parameters that specify the normalized correlation matrix for channel groups. This allows the channel extension decoder 780 to reconstruct additional channels of the audio from a single encoded channel, such that a set of complex second order statistics (i.e., the channel correlation matrix) is matched to the encoded channel on a bandwise basis.
On the side of the audio decoder 750, a demultiplexor 755 again separates the encoded baseband, spectral peak, frequency extension and channel extension data from the output bitstream 745 for decoding by a baseband decoder 760, a spectral peak decoder 770, a frequency extension decoder 780 and a channel extension decoder 790. Based on the information sent from their counterpart encoders, the baseband decoder, spectral peak decoder, frequency extension decoder and channel extension decoder perform an inverse of the respective encoding processes, and together reconstruct the audio for output at the audio output 795 (e.g., the audio is played to output devices 160 in the computing environment 100 in
A. Sparse Spectral Peak Encoding Component
The following section describes the encoding and decoding processes performed by the sparse spectral peak encoding and decoding components 720, 770 (
The spectral peak encoding procedure encodes the spectral peaks in this upper frequency band using two separate coding modes, which are referred to herein as intra-frame mode and inter-frame mode. In the intra-frame mode, the spectral peaks are coded without reference to data from previously coded frames. The transform coefficients of the spectral peak are coded as a value trio of a zero run (R), and two transform coefficient levels (L0,L1). The zero run (R) is a length of a run of zero-value coefficients from a last coded transform coefficient. The transform coefficient levels are the quantized values of the next two non-zero transform coefficients. The quantization of the spectral peak coefficients may be modified from the base step size (e.g., via a mask modifier), as is shown in the syntax tables below). Alternatively, the quantization applied to the spectral peak coefficients can use a different quantizer separate from that applied to the base band coding (e.g., a different step size or even different quantization scheme, such as non-linear quantization). The value trio (R,(L0,L1)) is then entropy coded separately or jointly, such as via a Huffman coding.
The inter-frame mode uses predictive coding based on the position of spectral peaks in a previous frame of the audio. In the illustrated procedure, the position is predicted based on spectral peaks in an immediately preceding frame. However, alternative implementations of the procedure can apply predictions based on other or additional frames of the audio, including bi-directional prediction. In this inter-frame mode, the transform coefficients are encoded as a shift (S) or offset of the current frame spectral peak from its predicted position. For the illustrated implementation, the predicted position is that of the corresponding previous frame spectral peak. However, the predicted position in alternative implementations can be a linear or other combination of the previous frame spectral peak and other frame information. The position S and two transform coefficient levels (L0,L1) are entropy coded separately or jointly with Huffman coding techniques. In the inter-frame mode, there are cases where some of the predicted position are unused by spectral peaks of the current frame. In one implementation to signal such “died-out” positions, the “died-out” code is embedded into the Huffman table of the shift (S).
In alternative implementations, the intra-frame coded value trio (R,(L0,L1)) and/or the inter-mode trio (S,(L0,L1)) could be coded by further predicting from previous trios in the current frame or previous frame when such coding further improves coding efficiency.
Each spectral peak in a frame is classified into intra-frame mode or inter-frame mode. One criteria of the classification can be to compare bit counts of coding the spectral peak with each mode, and choose the mode yielding the lower bit count. As a result, frames with spectral peaks can be intra-frame mode only, inter-frame mode only, or a combination of intra-frame and inter-frame mode coding.
First (action 810), the spectral peak encoder 720 detects spectral peaks in the transform coefficient data for a frame (the “current frame”) of the audio input that is currently being encoded. These spectral peaks typically correspond to high frequency tonal components of the audio input, such as may be produced by high pitched string instruments. In the transform coefficient data, the spectral peaks are the transform coefficients whose levels form local maximums, and typically are separated by very long runs of zero-level transform coefficients (for sparse spectral peak data).
In a next loop of actions 820-890, the spectral peak encoder 720 then compares the positions of the current frame's spectral peaks to those of the predictive frame (e.g., the immediately preceding frame in the illustrated implementation of the procedure). In the special case of the first frame (or other seekable frames) of the audio, there is no preceding frame to use for inter-frame mode predictive coding. In which case, all spectral peaks are determined to be new peaks that are encoded using the intra-frame coding mode, as indicated at actions 840, 850.
Within the loop 820-890, the spectral peak encoder 720 traverses a list of spectral peaks that were detected during processing an immediately preceding frame of the audio input. For each previous frame spectral peak, the spectral peak encoder 720 searches among the spectral peaks of the current frame to determine whether there is a corresponding spectral peak in the current frame (action 830). For example, the spectral peak encoder 720 can determine that a current frame spectral peak corresponds to a previous frame spectral peak if the current frame spectral peak is closest to the previous frame spectral peak, and is also closer to that previous frame spectral peak than any other spectral peak of the current frame.
If the spectral peak encoder 720 encounters any intervening new spectral peaks before the corresponding current frame spectral peak (decision 840), the spectral peak encoder 720 encodes (action 850) the new spectral peak(s) using the intra-frame mode as a sequence of entropy coded value trios, (R,(L0,L1)).
If the spectral peak encoder 720 determines there is no corresponding current frame spectral peak for the previous frame spectral peak (i.e., the spectral peak has “died out,” as indicated at decision 840), the spectral peak encoder 720 sends a code indicating the spectral peak has died out (action 850). For example, the spectral peak encoder 720 can determine there is no corresponding current frame spectral peak when a next current frame spectral peak is closer to the next previous frame spectral peak.
Otherwise, the spectral peak encoder 720 encodes the position of the current frame spectral peak using the inter-frame mode (action 880), as described above. If the shape of the current frame spectral peak has changed, the spectral peak encoder 720 further encodes the shape of the current frame spectral peak using the intra-frame mode coding (i.e., combined inter-frame/intra-frame mode), as also described above.
The spectral peak encoder 720 continues the loop 820-890 until all spectral peaks in the high frequency band are encoded.
B. Frequency Extension Coding Component
The following section describes the encoding and decoding processes performed by the frequency extension encoding and decoding components 730, 780 (
1. Band Partitioning Encoding Procedure
The band partitioning procedure 900 determines a band structure to cover the missing high frequency region and spectral holes using various band partitioning procedures. The missing spectral coefficients (both holes and higher frequencies) are coded in either the same transform domain or a smaller size transform domain. The holes are typically coded in the same transform domain as the base using the band partitioning procedure. Vector quantization in the base transform domain partitions the missing regions into bands, where each band is either a hole-filling band, overlay band, or a frequency extension band.
At start (decision step 910) of the band partitioning procedure 900, the encoder 700 chooses which of the band partitioning procedures to use. The choice of procedure can be based on the encoder first detecting the presence of spectral holes or missing high frequencies among the spectral coefficients encoded by the baseband encoder 710 and spectral peak encoder 720 for a current transform block of input audio samples. The presence of spectral holes in the spectral coefficients may be done, for example, by searching for runs of (originally non-zero) spectral coefficients that are quantized to zero level in the baseband region and that exceed a minimum length of run. The presence of a missing high frequency region can be detected based on the position of the last non-zero coefficients, the overall number of zero-level spectral coefficients in a frequency extension region (the region above the maximum baseband frequency, e.g., 4 KHz), or runs of zero-level spectral coefficients. In the case that the spectral coefficients contain significant spectral holes but not missing high frequencies, the encoder generally would choose the hole filling procedure 920. Conversely, in the case of missing high frequencies but few or no spectral holes, the encoder generally would choose the frequency extension procedure 930. If both spectral holes and missing high frequencies are present, the encoder generally uses hole filling, overlay and frequency extension bands. Alternatively, the band partitioning procedure can be determined based simply on the selected bit rate (e.g., the hole filling and frequency extension procedure 940 is appropriate to very low bit rate encoding, which tends to produce both spectral holes and missing high frequencies), or arbitrarily chosen.
In the hole filling procedure 920, the encoder 700 uses two thresholds to manage the number of bands allocated to fill spectral holes, which include a minimum hole size threshold and a maximum band size threshold. At a first action 921, the encoder detects spectral holes (i.e., a run of consecutive zero-level spectral coefficients in the baseband after quantization) that exceed the minimum hole size threshold. For each spectral hole over the minimum threshold, the encoder then evenly partitions the spectral hole into a number of bands, such that the size of the bands is equal to or smaller than a maximum band size threshold (action 922). For example, if a spectral hole has a width of 14 coefficients and the maximum band size threshold is 8, then the spectral hole would be partitioned into two bands having a width of 7 coefficients each. The encoder can then signal the resulting band structure in the compressed bit stream by coding two thresholds.
In the frequency extension procedure 930, the encoder 700 partitions the missing high frequency region into separate bands for vector quantization coding. As indicated at action 931, the encoder divides the frequency extension region (i.e., the spectral coefficients above the upper bound of the base band portion of the spectrum) into a desired number of bands. The bands can be structured such that successive bands are related by a ratio of their band size that is binary-increased, linearly-increased, or an arbitrary configuration.
In the overlay procedure 950, the encoder partitions both spectral holes (with size greater than the minimum hole threshold) and the missing high frequency region into a band structure using the frequency extension procedure 930 approach. In other words, the encoder partitions the holes and high frequency region into a desired number of bands that have a binary-increasing band size ratio, linearly-increasing band size ratio, or arbitrary configuration of band sizes.
Finally, the encoder can choose a fourth band partitioning procedure called the hole filling and frequency extension procedure 940. In the hole filling and frequency extension procedure 940, the encoder 700 partitions both spectral holes and the missing high frequency region into a band structure for vector quantization coding. First, as indicated by block 941, the encoder 700 configures a band structure to fill any spectral holes. As with the hole filling procedure 920 via the actions 921, 922, the encoder detects any spectral holes larger than a minimum hole size threshold. For each such hole, the encoder allocates a number of bands with size less than a maximum band size threshold in which to evenly partition the spectral hole. The encoder halts allocating bands in the band structure for hole filling upon reaching the preset number of hole filling bands. The decision step 942 checks if all spectral holes are filled by the action 941 (hole filling procedure). If all spectral holes are covered, the action 943 then configures a band structure for the missing high frequency region by allocating a desired total number of bands minus the number of bands allocated as hole filling bands, as with the frequency extension procedure 930 via the action 931. Otherwise, the whole of the unfilled spectral holes and missing high frequency region is partitioned to a desired total number of bands minus the number of bands allocated as hole filling bands by the action 944 as with the overlay procedure 950 via the action 951. Again, the encoder can choose a band size ratio of successive bands used in the actions 943, 944, from binary increasing, linearly increasing, or an arbitrary configuration.
2. Varying Transform Window Size with Vector Quantization Encoding Procedure
With the encoding procedure 1000, the encoder 700 (
1. In a first alternative combination, the normal quantization coding is applied to a portion of the spectrum (e.g., the “baseband” portion) using a wider transform window size (“window size A” 1012). Vector quantization coding also is applied to part of the spectrum (e.g., the “extension” portion) using the same wide window size A 1012. As shown in
2. In a second alternative combination, the normal quantization is applied to part of the spectrum (e.g., the “baseband” portion) using the window size A 1012, while the vector quantization is applied to another part of the spectrum (such as the high frequency “extension” region) with a narrower window size B 1014. In this example, the narrower window size B is half the width of the window size A. Alternatively, other ratios of wider and narrower window sizes can be used, such as 1:4, 1:8, 1:3, 2:3, etc. As shown in
3. In a third alternative combination, the normal quantization is applied to part of the spectrum (e.g., the “baseband” region) using the window size A 1012, while the vector quantization is applied to another part of the spectrum (e.g., the “extension” region) also using the window size A. In addition, another vector quantization coding is applied to part of the spectrum with window size B 1014. As illustrated in
With reference now to
In the case of the first alternative combination, both the baseband and extension were encoded using the same window size A 1012. Therefore, the decoded baseband and decoded extension form the spectral coefficients 1124. An inverse frequency transform 1120 with window size A is then applied to the spectral coefficients 1124. This produces a single stream of reconstructed audio samples, such that no summing or transform to window size B transform domain of reconstructed audio sample for separate window size blocks is needed.
Otherwise, in the case of the second alternative combination, the window size A inverse frequency transform 1120 is applied to the decoded baseband coefficients 1124, while a window size B inverse frequency transform 1121 is applied to the decoded extension coefficients 1125. This produces two sets of audio samples in blocks of window size A 1130 and window size B 1131, respectively. However, the baseband region coefficients are needed for the inverse vector quantization. Accordingly, prior to the decoding and inverse transform using the window size B, the window size B forward transform 1121 is applied to the window size A blocks of reconstructed audio samples 1130 to transform into the transform domain of window size B. The resulting baseband spectral coefficients are combined by the vector quantization decoder to reconstruct the full set of spectral coefficients 1125 in the window size B transform domain. The window size B inverse frequency transform 1121 is applied to this set of spectral coefficients to form the final reconstructed audio sample stream 1131.
In the case of the third alternative combination, the vector quantization was applied to both the spectral coefficients in the extension region for the window size A and window size B transforms 1020 and 1021. Accordingly, the vector quantization decoder 1111 produces two sets of decoded extension spectral coefficients: one encoded from the window size A transform spectral coefficients and one for the window size B spectral coefficients. The window size A inverse frequency transform 1120 is applied to the decoded baseband coefficients 1124, and also applied to the decoded extension spectral coefficients for window size A to produce window size A blocks of audio samples 1130. Again, the baseband coefficients are needed for the window size B inverse vector quantization. Accordingly, the window size B frequency transform 1021 is applied to the window size A blocks of reconstructed audio samples to convert to the window size B transform domain. The window size B vector quantization decoder 1111 uses the converted baseband coefficients, and as applicable, sums the extension region spectral coefficients to produce the decoded spectral coefficients 1125. The window size B inverse frequency transform 1121 is applied to those decoded extension spectral coefficients to produce the final reconstructed audio samples 1131.
3. Example Band Partitioning
The first tile 1210 has two sparse spectral peaks coded beyond the base. In addition, there are spectral holes in the base. Two of these holes are filled with the hole-filling mode. Suppose the maximum number of hole-filling bands is 2. The final spectral holes in the base are filled with the overlay mode of the frequency extension. The spectral region between the base and the sparse spectral peaks is also filled with the overlay mode bands. After the last band which is used to fill the gaps between the base and sparse spectral peaks, regular frequency extension with the same transform size as the base is used to fill in the missing high frequencies.
The hole-filling is used on the second tile 1211 to fill spectral holes in the base (two of them). The remaining spectral holes are filled with the overlay band which crosses over the base into the missing high spectral frequency region. The remaining missing high frequencies are coded using frequency extension with the same transform size used to code the lower frequencies (where the tonal components happen to be), and a smaller transform size frequency extension used to code the higher frequencies (For the transients).
For the third tile 1212, the base region has one spectral hole only. Beyond the base region there are two coded sparse spectral peaks. Since there is only one spectral hole in the base, the gap between the last base coded coefficient and the first sparse spectral peak is coded using a hole-filling band. The missing coefficients between the first and second sparse spectral peak and beyond the second peak are coded using and overlay band. Beyond this, regular frequency extension using the small size frequency transform is used.
The base region of the fourth tile 1213 has no spectral peaks. Frequency extension is done in the two transform domains to fill in the missing higher frequencies.
The fifth tile 1214 is similar to the fourth tile 1213, except only the base transform domain is used.
For the sixth tile 1215, frequency extension coding in the same transform domain is used to code the lower frequencies and the tonal components in the higher frequencies. Transient components in higher frequencies are coded using a smaller size transform domain. Missing high frequency components are obtained by summing the two extensions.
The seventh tile 1216 also is similar to the fourth tile 1213, except the smaller transform domain is used.
C. Channel Extension Coding Component
The following section describes the encoding and decoding processes performed by the channel extension encoding and decoding components 735, 790 (
1. Overview of Multi-Channel Processing
This section is an overview of some multi-channel processing techniques used in some encoders and decoders, including multi-channel pre-processing techniques, flexible multi-channel transform techniques, and multi-channel post-processing techniques.
a. Multi-Channel Pre-Processing
Some encoders perform multi-channel pre-processing on input audio samples in the time domain.
In traditional encoders, when there are N source audio channels as input, the number of output channels produced by the encoder is also N. The number of coded channels may correspond one-to-one with the source channels, or the coded channels may be multi-channel transform-coded channels. When the coding complexity of the source makes compression difficult or when the encoder buffer is full, however, the encoder may alter or drop (i.e., not code) one or more of the original input audio channels or multi-channel transform-coded channels. This can be done to reduce coding complexity and improve the overall perceived quality of the audio. For quality-driven pre-processing, an encoder may perform multi-channel pre-processing in reaction to measured audio quality so as to smoothly control overall audio quality and/or channel separation.
For example, an encoder may alter a multi-channel audio image to make one or more channels less critical so that the channels are dropped at the encoder yet reconstructed at a decoder as “phantom” or uncoded channels. This helps to avoid the need for outright deletion of channels or severe quantization, which can have a dramatic effect on quality.
An encoder can indicate to the decoder what action to take when the number of coded channels is less than the number of channels for output. Then, a multi-channel post-processing transform can be used in a decoder to create phantom channels. For example, an encoder (through a bitstream) can instruct a decoder to create a phantom center by averaging decoded left and right channels. Later multi-channel transformations may exploit redundancy between averaged back left and back right channels (without post-processing), or an encoder may instruct a decoder to perform some multi-channel post-processing for back left and right channels. Or, an encoder can signal to a decoder to perform multi-channel post-processing for another purpose.
The output is then fed to the rest of the encoder, which, in addition to any other processing that the encoder may perform, encodes (1320) the data using techniques described with reference to
A syntax used by an encoder and decoder may allow description of general or pre-defined post-processing multi-channel transform matrices, which can vary or be turned on/off on a frame-to-frame basis. An encoder can use this flexibility to limit stereo/surround image impairments, trading off channel separation for better overall quality in certain circumstances by artificially increasing inter-channel correlation. Alternatively, a decoder and encoder can use another syntax for multi-channel pre- and post-processing, for example, one that allows changes in transform matrices on a basis other than frame-to-frame.
b. Flexible Multi-Channel Transforms
Some encoders can perform flexible multi-channel transforms that effectively take advantage of inter-channel correlation. Corresponding decoders can perform corresponding inverse multi-channel transforms.
For example, an encoder can position a multi-channel transform after perceptual weighting (and the decoder can position the inverse multi-channel transform before inverse weighting) such that a cross-channel leaked signal is controlled, measurable, and has a spectrum like the original signal. An encoder can apply weighting factors to multi-channel audio in the frequency domain (e.g., both weighting factors and per-channel quantization step modifiers) before multi-channel transforms. An encoder can perform one or more multi-channel transforms on weighted audio data, and quantize multi-channel transformed audio data.
A decoder can collect samples from multiple channels at a particular frequency index into a vector and perform an inverse multi-channel transform to generate the output. Subsequently, a decoder can inverse quantize and inverse weight the multi-channel audio, coloring the output of the inverse multi-channel transform with mask(s). Thus, leakage that occurs across channels (due to quantization) can be spectrally shaped so that the leaked signal's audibility is measurable and controllable, and the leakage of other channels in a given reconstructed channel is spectrally shaped like the original uncorrupted signal of the given channel.
An encoder can group channels for multi-channel transforms to limit which channels get transformed together. For example, an encoder can determine which channels within a tile correlate and group the correlated channels. An encoder can consider pair-wise correlations between signals of channels as well as correlations between bands, or other and/or additional factors when grouping channels for multi-channel transformation. For example, an encoder can compute pair-wise correlations between signals in channels and then group channels accordingly. A channel that is not pair-wise correlated with any of the channels in a group may still be compatible with that group. For channels that are incompatible with a group, an encoder can check compatibility at band level and adjust one or more groups of channels accordingly. An encoder can identify channels that are compatible with a group in some bands, but incompatible in some other bands. Turning off a transform at incompatible bands can improve correlation among bands that actually get multi-channel transform coded and improve coding efficiency. Channels in a channel group need not be contiguous. A single tile may include multiple channel groups, and each channel group may have a different associated multi-channel transform. After deciding which channels are compatible, an encoder can put channel group information into a bitstream. A decoder can then retrieve and process the information from the bitstream.
An encoder can selectively turn multi-channel transforms on or off at the frequency band level to control which bands are transformed together. In this way, an encoder can selectively exclude bands that are not compatible in multi-channel transforms. When a multi-channel transform is turned off for a particular band, an encoder can use the identity transform for that band, passing through the data at that band without altering it. The number of frequency bands relates to the sampling frequency of the audio data and the tile size. In general, the higher the sampling frequency or larger the tile size, the greater the number of frequency bands. An encoder can selectively turn multi-channel transforms on or off at the frequency band level for channels of a channel group of a tile. A decoder can retrieve band on/off information for a multi-channel transform for a channel group of a tile from a bitstream according to a particular bitstream syntax.
An encoder can use hierarchical multi-channel transforms to limit computational complexity, especially in the decoder. With a hierarchical transform, an encoder can split an overall transformation into multiple stages, reducing the computational complexity of individual stages and in some cases reducing the amount of information needed to specify multi-channel transforms. Using this cascaded structure, an encoder can emulate the larger overall transform with smaller transforms, up to some accuracy. A decoder can then perform a corresponding hierarchical inverse transform. An encoder may combine frequency band on/off information for the multiple multi-channel transforms. A decoder can retrieve information for a hierarchy of multi-channel transforms for channel groups from a bitstream according to a particular bitstream syntax.
An encoder can use pre-defined multi-channel transform matrices to reduce the bitrate used to specify transform matrices. An encoder can select from among multiple available pre-defined matrix types and signal the selected matrix in the bitstream. Some types of matrices may require no additional signaling in the bitstream. Others may require additional specification. A decoder can retrieve the information indicating the matrix type and (if necessary) the additional information specifying the matrix.
An encoder can compute and apply quantization matrices for channels of tiles, per-channel quantization step modifiers, and overall quantization tile factors. This allows an encoder to shape noise according to an auditory model, balance noise between channels, and control overall distortion. A corresponding decoder can decode apply overall quantization tile factors, per-channel quantization step modifiers, and quantization matrices for channels of tiles, and can combine inverse quantization and inverse weighting steps
c. Multi-Channel Post-Processing
Some decoders perform multi-channel post-processing on reconstructed audio samples in the time domain.
For example, the number of decoded channels may be less than the number of channels for output (e.g., because the encoder did not code one or more input channels). If so, a multi-channel post-processing transform can be used to create one or more “phantom” channels based on actual data in the decoded channels. If the number of decoded channels equals the number of output channels, the post-processing transform can be used for arbitrary spatial rotation of the presentation, remapping of output channels between speaker positions, or other spatial or special effects. If the number of decoded channels is greater than the number of output channels (e.g., playing surround sound audio on stereo equipment), a post-processing transform can be used to “fold-down” channels. Transform matrices for these scenarios and applications can be provided or signaled by the encoder.
The decoder then performs (1420) multi-channel post-processing on the time-domain multi-channel audio data. When the encoder produces a number of coded channels and the decoder outputs a larger number of channels, the post-processing involves a general transform to produce the larger number of output channels from the smaller number of coded channels. For example, the decoder takes co-located (in time) samples, one from each of the reconstructed coded channels, then pads any channels that are missing (i.e., the channels dropped by the encoder) with zeros. The decoder multiplies the samples with a general post-processing transform matrix.
The general post-processing transform matrix can be a matrix with pre-determined elements, or it can be a general matrix with elements specified by the encoder. The encoder signals the decoder to use a pre-determined matrix (e.g., with one or more flag bits) or sends the elements of a general matrix to the decoder, or the decoder may be configured to always use the same general post-processing transform matrix. For additional flexibility, the multi-channel post-processing can be turned on/off on a frame-by-frame or other basis (in which case, the decoder may use an identity matrix to leave channels unaltered).
2. Channel Extension Processing for Multi-Channel Audio
In a typical coding scheme for coding a multi-channel source, a time-to-frequency transformation using a transform such as a modulated lapped transform (“MLT”) or discrete cosine transform (“DCT”) is performed at an encoder, with a corresponding inverse transform at the decoder. MLT or DCT coefficients for some of the channels are grouped together into a channel group and a linear transform is applied across the channels to obtain the channels that are to be coded. If the left and right channels of a stereo source are correlated, they can be coded using a sum-difference transform (also called M/S or mid/side coding). This removes correlation between the two channels, resulting in fewer bits needed to code them. However, at low bitrates, the difference channel may not be coded (resulting in loss of stereo image), or quality may suffer from heavy quantization of both channels.
Instead of coding sum and difference channels for channel groups (e.g., left/right pairs, front left/front right pairs, back left/back right pairs, or other groups), a desirable alternative to these typical joint coding schemes (e.g., mid/side coding, intensity stereo coding, etc.) is to code one or more combined channels (which may be sums of channels, a principal major component after applying a de-correlating transform, or some other combined channel) along with additional parameters to describe the cross-channel correlation and power of the respective physical channels and allow reconstruction of the physical channels that maintains the cross-channel correlation and power of the respective physical channels. In other words, second order statistics of the physical channels are maintained. Such processing can be referred to as channel extension processing.
For example, using complex transforms allows channel reconstruction that maintains cross-channel correlation and power of the respective channels. For a narrowband signal approximation, maintaining second-order statistics is sufficient to provide a reconstruction that maintains the power and phase of individual channels, without sending explicit correlation coefficient information or phase information.
The channel extension processing represents uncoded channels as modified versions of coded channels. Channels to be coded can be actual, physical channels or transformed versions of physical channels (using, for example, a linear transform applied to each sample). For example, the channel extension processing allows reconstruction of plural physical channels using one coded channel and plural parameters. In one implementation, the parameters include ratios of power (also referred to as intensity or energy) between two physical channels and a coded channel on a per-band basis. For example, to code a signal having left (L) and right (R) stereo channels, the power ratios are L/M and R/M, where M is the power of the coded channel (the “sum” or “mono” channel), L is the power of left channel, and R is the power of the right channel. Although channel extension coding can be used for all frequency ranges, this is not required. For example, for lower frequencies an encoder can code both channels of a channel transform (e.g., using sum and difference), while for higher frequencies an encoder can code the sum channel and plural parameters.
The channel extension processing can significantly reduce the bitrate needed to code a multi-channel source. The parameters for modifying the channels take up a small portion of the total bitrate, leaving more bitrate for coding combined channels. For example, for a two channel source, if coding the parameters takes 10% of the available bitrate, 90% of the bits can be used to code the combined channel. In many cases, this is a significant savings over coding both channels, even after accounting for cross-channel dependencies.
Channels can be reconstructed at a reconstructed channel/coded channel ratio other than the 2:1 ratio described above. For example, a decoder can reconstruct left and right channels and a center channel from a single coded channel. Other arrangements also are possible. Further, the parameters can be defined different ways. For example, the parameters may be defined on some basis other than a per-band basis.
a. Complex Transforms and Scale/Shape Parameters
In one prior approach to channel extension processing, an encoder forms a combined channel and provides parameters to a decoder for reconstruction of the channels that were used to form the combined channel. A decoder derives complex spectral coefficients (each having a real component and an imaginary component) for the combined channel using a forward complex time-frequency transform. Then, to reconstruct physical channels from the combined channel, the decoder scales the complex coefficients using the parameters provided by the encoder. For example, the decoder derives scale factors from the parameters provided by the encoder and uses them to scale the complex coefficients. The combined channel is often a sum channel (sometimes referred to as a mono channel) but also may be another combination of physical channels. The combined channel may be a difference channel (e.g., the difference between left and right channels) in cases where physical channels are out of phase and summing the channels would cause them to cancel each other out.
For example, the encoder sends a sum channel for left and right physical channels and plural parameters to a decoder which may include one or more complex parameters. (Complex parameters are derived in some way from one or more complex numbers, although a complex parameter sent by an encoder (e.g., a ratio that involves an imaginary number and a real number) may not itself be a complex number.) The encoder also may send only real parameters from which the decoder can derive complex scale factors for scaling spectral coefficients. (The encoder typically does not use a complex transform to encode the combined channel itself. Instead, the encoder can use any of several encoding techniques to encode the combined channel.)
After a time-to-frequency transform at an encoder, the spectrum of each channel is usually divided into sub-bands. In the channel extension coding technique, an encoder can determine different parameters for different frequency sub-bands, and a decoder can scale coefficients in a band of the combined channel for the respective band in the reconstructed channel using one or more parameters provided by the encoder. In a coding arrangement where left and right channels are to be reconstructed from one coded channel, each coefficient in the sub-band for each of the left and right channels is represented by a scaled version of a sub-band in the coded channel.
In one implementation, each sub-band in each of the left and right channels has a scale parameter and a shape parameter. The shape parameter may be determined by the encoder and sent to the decoder, or the shape parameter may be assumed by taking spectral coefficients in the same location as those being coded. The encoder represents all the frequencies in one channel using scaled version of the spectrum from one or more of the coded channels. A complex transform (having a real number component and an imaginary number component) is used, so that cross-channel second-order statistics of the channels can be maintained for each sub-band. Because coded channels are a linear transform of actual channels, parameters do not need to be sent for all channels. For example, if P channels are coded using N channels (where N<P), then parameters do not need to be sent for all P channels. More information on scale and shape parameters is provided below in Section III.C.4.
The parameters may change over time as the power ratios between the physical channels and the combined channel change. Accordingly, the parameters for the frequency bands in a frame may be determined on a frame by frame basis or some other basis. The parameters for a current band in a current frame are differentially coded based on parameters from other frequency bands and/or other frames in described embodiments.
The decoder performs a forward complex transform to derive the complex spectral coefficients of the combined channel. It then uses the parameters sent in the bitstream (such as power ratios and an imaginary-to-real ratio for the cross-correlation or a normalized correlation matrix) to scale the spectral coefficients. The output of the complex scaling is sent to the post processing filter. The output of this filter is scaled and added to reconstruct the physical channels.
Channel extension coding need not be performed for all frequency bands or for all time blocks. For example, channel extension coding can be adaptively switched on or off on a per band basis, a per block basis, or some other basis. In this way, an encoder can choose to perform this processing when it is efficient or otherwise beneficial to do so. The remaining bands or blocks can be processed by traditional channel decorrelation, without decorrelation, or using other methods.
The achievable complex scale factors in described embodiments are limited to values within certain bounds. For example, described embodiments encode parameters in the log domain, and the values are bound by the amount of possible cross-correlation between channels.
The channels that can be reconstructed from the combined channel using complex transforms are not limited to left and right channel pairs, nor are combined channels limited to combinations of left and right channels. For example, combined channels may represent two, three or more physical channels. The channels reconstructed from combined channels may be groups such as back-left/back-right, back-left/left, back-right/right, left/center, right/center, and left/center/right. Other groups also are possible. The reconstructed channels may all be reconstructed using complex transforms, or some channels may be reconstructed using complex transforms while others are not.
b. Interpolation of Parameters
An encoder can choose anchor points at which to determine explicit parameters and interpolate parameters between the anchor points. The amount of time between anchor points and the number of anchor points may be fixed or vary depending on content and/or encoder-side decisions. When an anchor point is selected at time t, the encoder can use that anchor point for all frequency bands in the spectrum. Alternatively, the encoder can select anchor points at different times for different frequency bands.
c. Detailed Explanation
A general linear channel transform can be written as Y=AX, where X is a set of L vectors of coefficients from P channels (a P×L dimensional matrix), A is a P×P channel transform matrix, and Y is the set of L transformed vectors from the P channels that are to be coded (a P×L dimensional matrix). L (the vector dimension) is the band size for a given subframe on which the linear channel transform algorithm operates. If an encoder codes a subset N of the P channels in Y, this can be expressed as Z=BX, where the vector Z is an N×L matrix, and B is a N×P matrix formed by taking N rows of matrix Y corresponding to the N channels which are to be coded. Reconstruction from the N channels involves another matrix multiplication with a matrix C after coding the vector Z to obtain W=CQ(Z), where Q represents quantization of the vector Z. Substituting for Z gives the equation W=CQ(BX). Assuming quantization noise is negligible, W=CBX. C can be appropriately chosen to maintain cross-channel second-order statistics between the vector X and W. In equation form, this can be represented as WW*=CBXX*B*C*=XX*, where XX* is a symmetric P×P matrix.
Since XX* is a symmetric P×P matrix, there are P(P+1)/2 degrees of freedom in the matrix. If N>=(P+1)/2, then it may be possible to come up with a P×N matrix C such that the equation is satisfied. If N<(P+1)/2, then more information is needed to solve this. If that is the case, complex transforms can be used to come up with other solutions which satisfy some portion of the constraint.
For example, if X is a complex vector and C is a complex matrix, we can try to find C such that Re(CBXX*B*C*)=Re(XX*). According to this equation, for an appropriate complex matrix C the real portion of the symmetric matrix XX* is equal to the real portion of the symmetric matrix product CBXX*B*C.
For the case where M=2 and N=1, then, BXX*B* is simply a real scalar (L×1) matrix, referred to as α. We solve for the equations shown in
Using the constraint shown in
Thus, when the encoder sends the magnitude of the complex scale factors, the decoder is able to reconstruct two individual channels which maintain cross-channel second order characteristics of the original, physical channels, and the two reconstructed channels maintain the proper phase of the coded channel.
In Example 1, although the imaginary portion of the cross-channel second-order statistics is solved for (as shown in
Suppose that in addition to the current signal from the previous analysis (W0 and W1 for the two channels, respectively), the decoder has the effect signal—a processed version of both the channels available (W0F and W1F, respectively), as shown in
In Example 1, it was determined that the complex constants C0 and C1 can be chosen to match the real portion of the cross-channel second-order statistics by sending two parameters (e.g., left-to-mono (L/M) and right-to-mono (R/M) power ratios). If another parameter is sent by the encoder, then the entire cross-channel second-order statistics of a multi-channel source can be maintained.
For example, the encoder can send an additional, complex parameter that represents the imaginary-to-real ratio of the cross-correlation between the two channels to maintain the entire cross-channel second-order statistics of a two-channel source. Suppose that the correlation matrix is given by RXX, as defined in
and assume W0F and W1F have the same power as and are uncorrelated to W0 and W1 respectively, the reconstruction procedure in
Due to the relationship between |C0| and |C1|, they cannot possess independent values. Hence, the encoder quantizes them jointly or conditionally. This applies to both Examples 1 and 2.
Other parameterizations are also possible, such as by sending from the encoder to the decoder a normalized version of the power matrix directly where we can normalize by the geometric mean of the powers, as shown in
Another parameterization is possible to represent U and Λ directly. It can be shown that U can be factorized into a series of Givens rotations. Each Givens rotation can be represented by an angle. The encoder transmits the Givens rotation angles and the Eigenvalues.
Also, both parameterizations can incorporate any additional arbitrary pre-rotation V and still produce the same correlation matrix since V V*=I, where I stands for the identity matrix. That is, the relationship shown in
Once the matrix shown in
The all-pass filter can be represented as a cascade of other all-pass filters. Depending on the amount of reverberation needed to accurately model the source, the output from any of the all-pass filters can be taken. This parameter can also be sent on either a band, subframe, or source basis. For example, the output of the first, second, or third stage in the all-pass filter cascade can be taken.
By taking the output of the filter, scaling it and adding it back to the original reconstruction, the decoder is able to maintain the cross-channel second-order statistics. Although the analysis makes certain assumptions on the power and the correlation structure on the effect signal, such assumptions are not always perfectly met in practice. Further processing and better approximation can be used to refine these assumptions. For example, if the filtered signals have a power which is larger than desired, the filtered signal can be scaled as shown in
There can sometimes be cases when the signal in the two physical channels being combined is out of phase, and thus if sum coding is being used, the matrix will be singular. In such cases, the maximum norm of the matrix can be limited. This parameter (a threshold) to limit the maximum scaling of the matrix can also be sent in the bitstream on a band, subframe, or source basis.
As in Example 1, the analysis in this Example assumes that B0=B1=β. However, the same algebra principles can be used for any transform to obtain similar results.
3. Channel Extension Coding with Other Coding Transforms
The channel extension coding techniques and tools described in Section III.C.2 above can be used in combination with other techniques and tools. For example, an encoder can use base coding transforms, frequency extension coding transforms (e.g., extended-band perceptual similarity coding transforms) and channel extension coding transforms. (Frequency extension coding is described in Section III.C.3.a., below.) In the encoder, these transforms can be performed in a base coding module, a frequency extension coding module separate from the base coding module, and a channel extension coding module separate from the base coding module and frequency extension coding module. Or, different transforms can be performed in various combinations within the same module.
a. Overview of Frequency Extension Coding
This section is an overview of frequency extension coding techniques and tools used in some encoders and decoders to code higher-frequency spectral data as a function of baseband data in the spectrum (sometimes referred to as extended-band perceptual similarity frequency extension coding, or wide-sense perceptual similarity coding).
Coding spectral coefficients for transmission in an output bitstream to a decoder can consume a relatively large portion of the available bitrate. Therefore, at low bitrates, an encoder can choose to code a reduced number of coefficients by coding a baseband within the bandwidth of the spectral coefficients and representing coefficients outside the baseband as scaled and shaped versions of the baseband coefficients.
To avoid distortion (e.g., a muffled or low-pass sound) in the reconstructed audio, the extended-band spectral coefficients are represented as shaped noise, shaped versions of other frequency components, or a combination of the two. Extended-band spectral coefficients can be divided into a number of sub-bands (e.g., of 64 or 128 coefficients) which can be disjoint or overlapping. Even though the actual spectrum may be somewhat different, this extended-band coding provides a perceptual effect that is similar to the original.
The baseband/extended-band partitioning section 4020 outputs baseband spectral coefficients 4025, extended-band spectral coefficients, and side information (which can be compressed) describing, for example, baseband width and the individual sizes and number of extended-band sub-bands.
In the example shown in
An extended-band coder can encode the sub-band using two parameters. One parameter (referred to as a scale parameter) is used to represent the total energy in the band. The other parameter (referred to as a shape parameter) is used to represent the shape of the spectrum within the band.
For example, the scale parameter can be the root-mean-square value of the coefficients within the current sub-band. This is found by taking the square root of the average squared value of all coefficients. The average squared value is found by taking the sum of the squared value of all the coefficients in the sub-band, and dividing by the number of coefficients.
The shape parameter can be a displacement vector that specifies a normalized version of a portion of the spectrum that has already been coded (e.g., a portion of baseband spectral coefficients coded with a baseband coder), a normalized random noise vector, or a vector for a spectral shape from a fixed codebook. A displacement vector that specifies another portion of the spectrum is useful in audio since there are typically harmonic components in tonal signals which repeat throughout the spectrum. The use of noise or some other fixed codebook can facilitate low bitrate coding of components which are not well-represented in a baseband-coded portion of the spectrum.
Some encoders allow modification of vectors to better represent spectral data. Some possible modifications include a linear or non-linear transform of the vector, or representing the vector as a combination of two or more other original or modified vectors. In the case of a combination of vectors, the modification can involve taking one or more portions of one vector and combining it with one or more portions of other vectors. When using vector modification, bits are sent to inform a decoder as to how to form a new vector. Despite the additional bits, the modification consumes fewer bits to represent spectral data than actual waveform coding.
The extended-band coder need not code a separate scale factor per sub-band of the extended band. Instead, the extended-band coder can represent the scale parameter for the sub-bands as a function of frequency, such as by coding a set of coefficients of a polynomial function that yields the scale parameters of the extended sub-bands as a function of their frequency. Further, the extended-band coder can code additional values characterizing the shape for an extended sub-band. For example, the extended-band coder can encode values to specify shifting or stretching of the portion of the baseband indicated by the motion vector. In such a case, the shape parameter is coded as a set of values (e.g., specifying position, shift, and/or stretch) to better represent the shape of the extended sub-band with respect to a vector from the coded baseband, fixed codebook, or random noise vector.
The scale and shape parameters that code each sub-band of the extended band both can be vectors. For example, the extended sub-bands can be represented as a vector product scale(f)·shape(f) in the time domain of a filter with frequency response scale(f) and an excitation with frequency response shape(f). This coding can be in the form of a linear predictive coding (LPC) filter and an excitation. The LPC filter is a low-order representation of the scale and shape of the extended sub-band, and the excitation represents pitch and/or noise characteristics of the extended sub-band. The excitation can come from analyzing the baseband-coded portion of the spectrum and identifying a portion of the baseband-coded spectrum, a fixed codebook spectrum or random noise that matches the excitation being coded. This represents the extended sub-band as a portion of the baseband-coded spectrum, but the matching is done in the time domain.
Referring again to
If no sufficiently similar portion of the baseband is found, the extended-band coder then looks to a fixed codebook (4140) of spectral shapes to represent the current sub-band. If found (4142), the extended-band coder uses its index in the code book as the shape parameter at 4144. Otherwise, at 4150, the extended-band coder represents the shape of the current sub-band as a normalized random noise vector.
Alternatively, the extended-band coder can decide how spectral coefficients can be represented with some other decision process.
The extended-band coder can compress scale and shape parameters (e.g., using predictive coding, quantization and/or entropy coding). For example, the scale parameter can be predictively coded based on a preceding extended sub-band. For multi-channel audio, scaling parameters for sub-bands can be predicted from a preceding sub-band in the channel. Scale parameters also can be predicted across channels, from more than one other sub-band, from the baseband spectrum, or from previous audio input blocks, among other variations. The prediction choice can be made by looking at which previous band (e.g., within the same extended band, channel or tile (input block)) provides higher correlations. The extended-band coder can quantize scale parameters using uniform or non-uniform quantization, and the resulting quantized value can be entropy coded. The extended-band coder also can use predictive coding (e.g., from a preceding sub-band), quantization, and entropy coding for shape parameters.
If sub-band sizes are variable for a given implementation, this provides the opportunity to size sub-bands to improve coding efficiency. Often, sub-bands which have similar characteristics may be merged with very little effect on quality. Sub-bands with highly variable data may be better represented if a sub-band is split. However, smaller sub-bands require more sub-bands (and, typically, more bits) to represent the same spectral data than larger sub-bands. To balance these interests, an encoder can make sub-band decisions based on quality measurements and bitrate information.
A decoder de-multiplexes a bitstream with baseband/extended-band partitioning and decodes the bands (e.g., in a baseband decoder and an extended-band decoder) using corresponding decoding techniques. The decoder may also perform additional functions.
Multi-channel coding in Section III.C.1 described techniques for representing all frequencies in a non-coded channel using a scaled version of the spectrum from one or more coded channels. Frequency extension coding differs in that extended-band coefficients are represented using scaled versions of the baseband coefficients. However, these techniques can be used together, such as by performing frequency extension coding on a combined channel and in other ways as described below.
b. Examples of Channel Extension Coding with Other Coding Transforms
The T/F transform can be different for each of the three transforms.
For the base transform, after a multi-channel transform 4312, coding 4315 comprises coding of spectral coefficients. If channel extension coding is also being used, at least some frequency ranges for at least some of the multi-channel transform coded channels do not need to be coded. If frequency extension coding is also being used, at least some frequency ranges do not need to be coded. For the frequency extension transform, coding 4315 comprises coding of scale and shape parameters for bands in a subframe. If channel extension coding is also being used, then these parameters may not need to be sent for some frequency ranges for some of the channels. For the channel extension transform, coding 4315 comprises coding of parameters (e.g., power ratios and a complex parameter) to accurately maintain cross-channel correlation for bands in a subframe. For simplicity, coding is shown as being formed in a single coding module 4315. However, different coding tasks can be performed in different coding modules.
In decoder 4400, base spectral coefficients are processed with an inverse base multi-channel transform 4410, inverse base T/F transform 4420, forward T/F frequency extension transform 4430, frequency extension processing 4440, inverse frequency extension T/F transform 4450, forward T/F channel extension transform 4460, channel extension processing 4470, and inverse channel extension T/F transform 4480 to produce reconstructed audio 4495.
However, for practical purposes, this decoder may be undesirably complicated. Also, the channel extension transform is complex, while the other two are not. Therefore, other decoders can be adjusted in the following ways: the T/F transform for frequency extension coding can be limited to (1) base T/F transform, or (2) the real portion of the channel extension T/F transform.
This allows configurations such as those shown in
Any of these configurations can be used, and a decoder can dynamically change which configuration is being used. In one implementation, the transform used for the base and frequency extension coding is the MLT (which is the real portion of the MCLT (modulated complex lapped transform) and the transform used for the channel extension transform is the MCLT. However, the two have different subframe sizes.
Each MCLT coefficient in a subframe has a basis function which spans that subframe. Since each subframe only overlaps with the neighboring two subframes, only the MLT coefficients from the current subframe, previous subframe, and next subframe are needed to find the exact MCLT coefficients for a given subframe.
The transforms can use same-size transform blocks, or the transform blocks may be different sizes for the different kinds of transforms. Different size transforms blocks in the base coding transform and the frequency extension coding transform can be desirable, such as when the frequency extension coding transform can improve quality by acting on smaller-time-window blocks. However, changing transform sizes at base coding, frequency extension coding and channel extension coding introduces significant complexity in the encoder and in the decoder. Thus, sharing transform sizes between at least some of the transform types can be desirable.
As an example, if the base coding transform and the frequency extension coding transform share the same transform block size, the channel extension coding transform can have a transform block size independent of the base coding/frequency extension coding transform block size. In this example, the decoder can comprise frequency reconstruction followed by an inverse base coding transform. Then, the decoder performs a forward complex transform to derive spectral coefficients for scaling the coded, combined channel. The complex channel extension coding transform uses its own transform block size, independent of the other two transforms. The decoder reconstructs the physical channels in the frequency domain from the coded, combined channel (e.g., a sum channel) using the derived spectral coefficients, and performs an inverse complex transform to obtain time-domain samples from the reconstructed physical channels.
As another example, if the base coding transform and the frequency extension coding transform have different transform block sizes, the channel extension coding transform can have the same transform block size as the frequency extension coding transform block size. In this example, the decoder can comprise of an inverse base coding transform followed by a forward reconstruction domain transform and frequency extension reconstruction. Then, the decoder derives the complex forward reconstruction domain transform spectral coefficients.
In the forward transform, the decoder can compute the imaginary portion of MCLT coefficients (also referred to below as the DST coefficients) of the channel extension transform coefficients from the real portion (also referred to below as the DCT or MLT coefficients). For example, the decoder can calculate an imaginary portion in a current block by looking at real portions from some coefficients (e.g., three coefficients or more) from a previous block, some coefficients (e.g., two coefficients) from the current block, and some coefficients (e.g., three coefficients or more) from the next block.
The mapping of the real portion to an imaginary portion involves taking a dot product between the inverse modulated DCT basis with the forward modulated discrete sine transform (DST) basis vector. Calculating the imaginary portion for a given subframe involves finding all the DST coefficients within a subframe. This can only be non-0 for DCT basis vectors from the previous subframe, current subframe, and next subframe. Furthermore, only DCT basis vectors of approximately similar frequency as the DST coefficient that we are trying to find have significant energy. If the subframe sizes for the previous, current, and next subframe are all the same, then the energy drops off significantly for frequencies different than the one we are trying to find the DST coefficient for. Therefore, a low complexity solution can be found for finding the DST coefficients for a given subframe given the DCT coefficients.
Specifically, we can compute Xs=A*Xc(−1)+B*Xc(0)+C*Xc(1) where Xc(−1), Xc(0) and Xc(1) stand for the DCT coefficients from the previous, current and the next block and Xs represent the DST coefficients of the current block:
1) Pre-compute A, B and C matrix for different window shape/size
2) Threshold A, B, and C matrix so values significantly smaller than the peak values are reduced to 0, reducing them to sparse matrixes
3) Compute the matrix multiplication only using the non-zero matrix elements.
In applications where complex filter banks are needed, this is a fast way to derive the imaginary from the real portion, or vice versa, without directly computing the imaginary portion.
The decoder reconstructs the physical channels in the frequency domain from the coded, combined channel (e.g., a sum channel) using the derived scale factors, and performs an inverse complex transform to obtain time-domain samples from the reconstructed physical channels.
The approach results in significant reduction in complexity compared to the brute force approach which involves an inverse DCT and a forward DST.
c. Reduction of Computational Complexity in Frequency/Channel Extension Coding
The frequency/channel extension coding can be done with base coding transforms, frequency extension coding transforms, and channel extension coding transforms. Switching transforms from one to another on block or frame basis can improve perceptual quality, but it is computationally expensive. In some scenarios (e.g., low-processing-power devices), such high complexity may not be acceptable. One solution for reducing the complexity is to force the encoder to always select the base coding transforms for both frequency and channel extension coding. However, this approach puts a limitation on the quality even for playback devices that are without power constraints. Another solution is to let the encoder perform without transform constraints and have the decoder map frequency/channel extension coding parameters to the base coding transform domain if low complexity is required. If the mapping is done in a proper way, the second solution can achieve good quality for high-power devices and good quality for low-power devices with reasonable complexity. The mapping of the parameters to the base transform domain from the other domains can be performed with no extra information from the bitstream, or with additional information put into the bitstream by the encoder to improve the mapping performance.
d. Improving Energy Tracking of Frequency Extension Coding in Transition between Different Window Sizes
As indicated in Section III.C.3.b, a frequency extension coding encoder can use base coding transforms, frequency extension coding transforms (e.g., extended-band perceptual similarity coding transforms) and channel extension coding transforms. However, when the frequency encoding is switching between two different transforms, the starting point of the frequency encoding may need extra attention. This is because the signal in one of the transforms, such as the base transform, is usually band passed, with a clear-pass band defined by the last coded coefficient. However, such a clear boundary, when mapped to a different transform, can become fuzzy. In one implementation, the frequency extension encoder makes sure no signal power is lost by carefully defining the starting point. Specifically,
1) For each band, the frequency extension encoder computes the energy of the previously (e.g., by base coding) compressed signal—E1.
2) For each band, the frequency extension encoder computes the energy of the original signal—E2.
3) If (E2−E1)>T, where T is a predefined threshold, the frequency extension encoder marks this band as the starting point.
4) The frequency extension encoder starts the operation here, and
5) The frequency extension encoder transmits the starting point to the decoder.
In this way, a frequency extension encoder, when switching between different transforms, detects the energy difference and transmits a starting point accordingly.
4. Shape and Scale Parameters for Frequency Extension Coding
a. Displacement Vectors for Encoders Using Modulated DCT Coding
As mentioned in Section III.C.3.a above, extended-band perceptual similarity frequency extension coding involves determining shape parameters and scale parameters for frequency bands within time windows. Shape parameters specify a portion of a baseband (typically a lower band) that will act as the basis for coding coefficients in an extended band (typically a higher band than the baseband). For example, coefficients in the specified portion of the baseband can be scaled and then applied to the extended band.
A displacement vector d can be used to modulate the signal of a channel at time t, as shown in
In the example shown in
Since the displacement vector is meant to accurately describe the shape of extended-band coefficients, one might assume that allowing maximum flexibility in the displacement vector would be desirable. However, restricting values of displacement vectors in some situations leads to improved perceptual quality. For example, an encoder can choose sub-bands m and n such that they are each always even or odd-numbered sub-bands, making the number of sub-bands covered by the displacement vector d always even. In an encoder that uses modulated discrete cosine transforms (DCT), when the number of sub-bands covered by the displacement vector d is even, better reconstruction is possible.
When extended-band perceptual similarity frequency extension coding is performed using modulated DCTs, a cosine wave from the baseband is modulated to produce a modulated cosine wave for the extended band. If the number of sub-bands covered by the displacement vector d is even, the modulation leads to accurate reconstruction. However, if the number of sub-bands covered by the displacement vector d is odd, the modulation leads to distortion in the reconstructed audio. Thus, by restricting displacement vectors to cover only even numbers of sub-bands (and sacrificing some flexibility in d), better overall sound quality can be achieved by avoiding distortion in the modulated signal. Thus, in the example shown in
b. Anchor Points for Scale Parameters
When frequency extension coding has smaller windows than the base coder, bitrate tends to increase. This is because while the windows are smaller, it is still important to keep frequency resolution at a fairly high level to avoid unpleasant artifacts.
The check-marks in
Alternatively, anchor points can be determined in other ways.
5. Reduced Complexity Channel Extension Coding
The channel extension processing described above (in section III.C.2) codes a multi-channel sound source by coding a subset of the channels, along with parameters from which the decoder can reproduce a normalized version of a channel correlation matrix. Using the channel correlation matrix, the decoder process (4400, 4500, 4600) reconstructs the remaining channels from the coded subset of the channels. The parameters for the normalized channel correlation matrix uses a complex rotation in the modulated complex lapped transform (MCLT) domain, followed by post-processing to reconstruct the individual channels from the coded channel subset. Further, the reconstruction of the channels required the decoder to perform a forward and inverse complex transform, again adding to the processing complexity. With the addition of the frequency extension coding (as described in section III.C.3.a above) using the modulated lapped transform (MLT), which is a real-only transform performed in the reconstruction domain, then the complexity of the decoder is even further increased.
In accordance with a low complexity channel extension coding technique described herein, the encoder sends a parameterization of the channel correlation matrix to the decoder. The decoder translates the parameters for the channel correlation matrix to a real transform that maintains the magnitude of the complex channel correlation matrix. As compared to the above-described channel extension approach (in section III.C.2), the decoder is then able to replace the complex scale and rotation with a real scaling. The decoder also replaces the complex post-processing with a real filter and scaling. This implementation then reduces the complexity of decoding to approximately one fourth of the previously described channel extension coding. The complex filter used in the previously described channel extension coding approach involved 4 multiplies and 2 adds per tap, whereas the real filter involves a single multiply per tap.
In the low complexity multi-channel decoder process 4900, the decoder processes base spectral coefficients decoded from the bitstream 4395 with an inverse base T/F transform 4910 (such as, the modulated lapped transform (MLT)), a forward T/F (frequency extension) transform 4920, frequency extension processing 4930, channel extension processing 4940 (including real-valued scaling 4941 and real-valued post-processing 4942), and an inverse channel extension T/F transform 4950 (such as, the inverse MCLT transform) to produce reconstructed audio 4995.
a. Detailed Explanation
In the above-described parameterization of the channel correlation matrix (section III.C.2.c), for the case involving two source channels of which a subset of one channel is coded (i.e., P=2, N=1), the detailed explanation derives that in order to maintain the second order statistics, one finds a 2×2 matrix C such that WW*=CZZ*C*=XX*, where W is the reconstruction, X is the original signal, C is the complex transform matrix to be used in the reconstruction, and Z is the a signal consisting of two components, one being the coded channels actually sent by the encoder to the decoder and the other component being the effect signal created at the decoder using the coded signal. The effect signal must be statistically similar to the coded component but be decorrelated from it. The original signal X is a P×L matrix, where L is the band size being used in the channel extension. Let
Each of the P rows represents the L spectral coefficients from the individual channels (for example the left and the right channels for P=2 case). The first component of Z (herein labeled Z0) is a N×L matrix that is formed by taking one of the components when a channel transform A is applied to X. Let Z0=BX be the component of Z which is actually coded by the encoder and sent to the decoder. B is a subset of N rows from the P×P channel transform matrix A. Suppose A is a channel transform which transforms (left/right source channels) into (sum/diff channels) as is commonly done. Then, B=[B0B1]=[β±β], where the sign choice (±) depends on whether the sum or difference channel is the channel being actually coded and sent to the decoder. This forms the first component of Z. The power in this channel being coded and sent to the decoder is given by α=BXX*B*=β2(X0X*0+X1X*1±2Re(X0X*1).
b. LMRM Parameterization
The goal of the decoder is to find C such that CC*=XX* /α. The encoder can either send C directly or parameters to represent or compute XX*/α. For example in the LMRM parameterization, the decoder sends
Since we know that β2(X0X*0+X1X*1±2Re(X0X*1))/α=1, we can calculate Re(X0X*1/α=(1/β2LM−RM)/2, and Im(X0X*1)/α=(Re(X0X*1)/α)/RI. Then the decoder has to solve
c. Normalized Correlation Matrix Parameterization
Another method is to directly send the normalized correlation matrix parameterization (correlation matrix normalized by the geometric mean of the power in the two channels). The following description details simplifications for use of this direct normalized correlation matrix parameterization in a low complexity encoder/decoder implementation. Similar simplifications can be applied to the LMRM parameterization. In the direct normalized correlation matrix parameterization, the decoder sends the following three parameters:
This then simplifies to the decoder solving the following:
If C satisfies (9), then so will CU for any arbitrary orthonormal matrix U. Since C is a 2×2 matrix, we have 4 parameters available and only 3 equations to satisfy (since the correlation matrix is symmetric). The extra degree of freedom is used to find U such that the amount of effect signal going into both the reconstructed channels is the same. Additionally the phase component is separated out into a separate matrix which can be done for this case. That is,
where R is a real matrix which simply satisfies the magnitude of the cross-correlation. Regardless of what a, b, and d are, the phase of the cross-correlation can be satisfied by simply choosing φ0 and φ1 such that φ0−φ1=θ. The extra degree of freedom in satisfying the phase can be used to maintain other statistics such as the phase between X0 and BX. That is
The values for a, b, and d are found by satisfying the magnitude of the correlation matrix. That is
Solving this equation gives a fairly simple solution to R. This direct implementation avoids having to compute eigenvalues/eigenvectors. We get
Breaking up C into two parts as C=ΦR allows an easy way of converting the normalized correlation matrix parameters into the complex transform matrix C. This matrix factorization into two matrices further allows the low complexity decoder to ignore the phase matrix Φ, and simply use the real matrix R.
Note that in the previously described channel correlation matrix parameterization (section III.C.2.c), the encoder does no scaling to the mono signal. That is to say, the channel transform matrix being used (B) is fixed. The transform itself has a scale factor which adjusts for any change in power caused by forming the sum or difference channel. In an alternate method, the encoder scales the N=1 dimensional signal so that the power in the original P=2 dimensional signal is preserved. That is the encoder multiplies the sum/difference signal by
In order to compensate, the decoder needs to multiply by the inverse, which gives
In both of the previous methods (21) and (23), call the scale factor in front of the matrix R to be s.
At the channel extension processing stage 4940 of the low complexity decoder process 4900 (
As a further alternative variation, suppose instead of generating the effect signal using the coded channel, the decoder uses the first portion of the reconstruction to generate the effect signal. Since the scale factor being applied to the effect signal Z0F is given by sd, and since the first portion of the reconstruction has a scale factor of sa for the first channel and sb for the second channel, if the effect signal is being created by the first portion of the reconstruction, then the scale factor to be applied to it is given by d/a for the first channel and d/b for the second channel. Note that since the effect signal being generated is an IIR filter with history, there can be cases when the effect signal has significantly larger power than that of the first portion of the reconstruction. This can cause an undesirable post echo. To solve this, the scale factor derived from the second column of matrix R can be further attenuated to ensure that the power of the effect signal is not larger than some threshold times the first portion of the reconstruction.
IV. Bitstream Syntax for the Multiple Decoding Processes/Components
With reference again to
The basic coding unit of the bitstream 745 is the tile (e.g., as illustrated in the example tile configuration of
The example bitstream syntax uses a superframe header structure. Rather than signaling all configuration parameters in each frame, some configuration parameters (e.g., for low bit rate extensions) are sent only at intervals in frames designated as “superframes.” The bitstream syntax includes a syntax element, labeled bPlusSuperframe in the following tables, which designates a frame as a superframe that contains these configuration parameters. By avoiding having to send the configuration parameters each frame in this way, the superframe header structure conserves bitrate, which is particularly significant for bitstreams coded at very low bitrates. At decoding, the decoder can start decoding the bitstream at any intermediate frame. However, the decoder decodes only the base band portion of the bitstream. The decoder does not start applying the low bit rate extensions until arriving at a superframe. The superframe structure of the bitstream syntax thus has the trade-off of degraded reconstruction quality while “seeking” the superframe, while achieving a reduction in the coded bitrate.
A. Bitstream Syntax for Baseband Decoding Procedures
The bitstream syntax and decoding procedures for the baseband decoder 760 are shown in the following tables. The bitstream syntax of the example audio encoder 700 and decoder 750 provides an alternative coding of the base band spectrum region (called the “base plus” coding layer), which can replace a legacy base band spectrum region coding layer. This base plus coding layer can be coded in one of various modes, which are called “exclusive,” “overlay,” and “extend” modes.
In the exclusive mode, the base plus layer replaces the legacy base coding layer. The legacy base layer is coded as silence, while the actual coding of the input audio is done as the base plus layer. The bitstream syntax for the base plus coding layer encodes syntax elements for decoding techniques that provide better coding efficiency, which include: (1) final mask (scale factor); (2) a variation of entropy coding for coefficients; and (3) tool boxes for signaling particular coding features. Examples of some encoding and decoding techniques utilized in the base plus coding layer include those described by Thumpudi et al., “PREDICTION OF SPECTRAL COEFFICIENTS IN WAVEFORM CODING AND DECODING,” U.S. Patent Application Publication No. US-2007-0016415-A1; Thumpudi et al., “REORDERING COEFFICIENTS FOR WAVEFORM CODING OR DECODING,” U.S. Patent Application Publication No. US-2007-0016406-A1; and Thumpudi et al., “CODING AND DECODING SCALE FACTOR INFORMATION,” U.S. Patent Application Publication No. US-2007-0016427-A1.
In the overlay mode, the base plus layer is designed to complement the audio coded using the legacy base band coding layer. The overlay mode codes for the “overlay” spectral hole filling technique described above, which codes parameters to fill “holes” of zero-level coefficients in the base band spectrum region.
The extend mode also complements the legacy base band coding layer. This mode codes information in the base plus coding layer to fill missing high frequencies above the upper bound of the coded base band region, using the frequency extension techniques for filling missing high frequencies also described above.
The following base band decoding procedure reads parameters for decoding the base plus layer from a header of the base plus layer.
The following base band decoding procedure is invoked from the above tile decoding procedure. This procedure checks a single bit flag indicating whether the base plus coding layer is present.
The decoding procedure in the following table then invokes the appropriate decoding procedure for the base plus coding layer's mode.
The decoding procedure for the overlay mode is shown in the following decoding table.
The decoding procedure for the exclusive mode is shown in the following decoding table.
The following syntax tables show the decoding procedures to decode the scale factor and other parameters for the base plus coding layer.
B. Bitstream Syntax for Sparse Spectral Peak Decoding Procedure.
One example of a bitstream syntax and decoding procedure for the spectral peak decoder 770 (
1. “BasePeakCoefNo” signals no spectral peak data;
2. “BasePeakCoefInd” signals intra-frame coded spectral peak data;
3. “BasePeakCoefInterPred” signals inter-frame coded spectral peak data; and
4. “BasePeakCoefInterPredAndInd” signals combined intra-frame and inter-frame coded spectral peak data.
When inter-frame spectral peak coding mode is used, the spectral peak is coded as a shift (“iShift”) from its predicted position and two transform coefficient levels (represented as “iLevel,” “iShape,” and “iSign” in the syntax table) in the frame. When intra-frame spectral peak coding mode is used, the transform coefficients of the spectral peak are signaled as zero run (“cRun”) and two transform coefficient levels (“iLevel,” “iShape,” and “iSign”).
The following variables are used in the sparse spectral peak coding syntax shown in the following tables:
iMaskDiff/iMaskEscape: parameter used to modify mask values to adjust quantization step size from base step size.
iBasePeakCoefPred: indicates mode used to code spectral peaks (no peaks, intra peaks only, inter peaks only, intra & inter peaks).
BasePeakNLQDecTbl: parameter used for nonlinear quantization.
iShift: S parameter in (S,(L0,L1)) trio for peaks which are coded using inter-frame prediction (specifies shift or specifies if peaks from previous frame have died out).
cBasePeaksIndCoeffs: number of intra coded peaks.
bEnableShortZeroRun/bConstrainedZeroRun: parameter to control how the R parameter is coded in intra-mode peaks.
cRun: R parameter in the R,(L0,L1) value trio for intra-mode peaks.
iLevel/iShape/iSign: coding (L0,L1) portion of trio.
iBasePeakShapeCB: codebook used to control shape of (L0,L1)
C. Bitstream Syntax for Frequency Extension Decoding Procedure.
One example of a bitstream syntax and decoding procedure for the frequency extension decoder 780 (
The following syntax tables illustrate one example bitstream syntax and frequency extension decoding procedure that includes signaling the band structure used with the band partitioning and varying transform window size techniques described in section III.B above. This example bitstream syntax can be varied for other alternative implementations of these techniques. In the following syntax tables, the use of uniform band structure, binary increasing and linearly increasing band size ratio, and arbitrary configurations discussed above are signaled.
D. Bitstream Syntax for Channel Extension Decoding Procedure.
One example of a bitstream syntax and decoding procedure for the channel extension decoder 790 (
Based on the above derivation of the low complexity version channel correlation matrix parameterization (in section III.C.5), the coding syntax defines various channel extension coding syntax elements. This includes syntax elements for signaling the band configuration for channel extension decoding, as follows:
The bitstream syntax also includes syntax elements for the channel extension parameters to control transform conversion and reverb control, as follows:
Further, the bitstream syntax has syntax elements to signal quantization step size, as follows:
The bitstream syntax also includes a channel coding parameter, eCxChCoding, which is an enumerated value that specifies whether the base channel being coded is the sum or difference. This parameter has four possible values: sum, diff, value sent per tile, or value sent per band.
These syntax elements are coded in a channel extension header, which is decoded as shown in the following syntax tables.
A flag bit in the next syntax table of the channel extension decoding procedure specifies whether the current frame has channel extension parameters coded or not.
The example bitstream syntax partitions tiles into segments. Each segment consists of a group of tile. Each segment's parameters are coded in the tile which is in the center of that segment (or the closest one if the segment has an even number of tiles). Such tile is called an “anchor tile.” The parameters used for a given tile are found by linearly interpolating the parameters from the left and right anchor points.
The example bitstream syntax includes the following syntax elements that specify parameters for channel extension of each tile, and decoded in the procedure shown in the syntax table below.
In the LMRM parameterization, the following parameters are sent with each tile.
On the other hand, in the normalized correlation matrix parameterization, the following parameters are sent with each tile.
These channel extension parameters are coded per tile, which is decoded at the decoder as shown in the following syntax table.
In view of the many possible embodiments to which the principles of our invention may be applied, we claim as our invention all such embodiments as may come within the scope and spirit of the following claims and equivalents thereto.